Networking is moving from basic connectivity to real time application access: Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO, Arista Networks

VoicenData Bureau
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Q. Arista Networks recently announced its presence in India. Share your plans for India?


A. Arista Networks announced its presence in Bangalore by starting a Research & Development centre which will focus on expanding Arista's Extensible Operating Systemâ„¢ (EOS) which is purpose-built for large data centre and cloud scale deployments. Arista Networks is planning to initially grow the Arista Bangalore R&D center to fifty engineers in the next two years, selecting exceptional high quality technical talent from premier engineering institutions and companies.

The presence in India will allow Arista Networks to expand global software development capabilities across three continents, Asia, Europe (UK) and North America (California). Arista's cloud networking approach embraces the open development environments of the 21st century.  The killer applications driving network deployments are no longer email; instead social networking such as Facebook, video delivery, search applications, Hadoop clusters, financial algorithmic trading running, and on-demand private and public cloud computing are driving significant bandwidth, latency, and automation requirements. Backed with a thousand man-years of development and software expertise, Arista has built a ground-up networking OS purpose-built for clouds and data centres. EOS solves important pain points in today's network deployments offering consistent high levels of scalability, provisioning and resilience. Aristas crown jewel is our purpose built data center and cloud networking software. The Bangalore team will continue to build upon EOS for state of the art features as an extension of our US R&D team.

Q. What has the response been globally to the offerings from Arista Networks?


A. Arista started shipping production units in 2008 and found early-adopter markets in financial trading, cloud computing, natural resources exploration, and research and scientific modeling. Many of these are traditionally challenging markets for new companies to support. Arista has approximately 75% of its revenue coming from North America and in 2010 expanded into key geographies in Asia, Japan, Europe, and Latin America.

Because a key reason for Arista's success has been overall product quality, primarily derived from the robust architecture of Extensible Operating Systems (EOS).  High product quality has led to wide-spread deployments in key customers and markets after the successful implementation of smaller initial deployments or POCs (Proof of Concept).  Arista products just work and happy customers are most often repeat customers.

Q. There are so many other vendors making the Gigabit Ethernet Switch. What is Arista Networks's unique selling point? Also do mention if there is a roadmap in place.


A. Arista has focused on several key vertical markets that are IT intensive and with an open operating system and automation model Arista is leading the drive to 10Gb based interconnect. The adoption of virtualization and new cloud models for public and private networks has created a bifurcation between the classical legacy market and the new cloud market, a clear disruptor. In a short time of two years Arista has grown from 0 to over 600 customers across a wide variety of verticals.

Arista's primary product differentiation is our Extensible Operating System (EOS).  EOS is the most advanced network operating system available. It combines modern-day software and O/S architectures, transparently restartable processes, open platform development, Linux kernel, and a stateful publish/ subscribe database model that enables a much more scalable ongoing software development.

In terms of product development and roadmap, our Bangalore office is strategic for Arista in this respect.  Our customers will continue to see exciting new products from Arista for years to come.


Q. What are the demands and challenges of a Data Center? How do you think Arista can address it?

A. Unlike past client-server designs based on classical web (256KB transfers), e-mail (1 MB) or file transfers (10Meg), new cloud networks in the data centre are required to offer deterministic performance metrics at multi-gigabyte orders. These data centres demand non-blocking and predictable performance.  Enterprise networks in the past were designed for specific applications while new cloud designs in the data center can address a multitude of applications. This is clearly a radical departure from today's oversubscribed networks in which delays and high transit latency are inherent.

Key demands are scale of 1000 to 10000 nodes, new class of resilience with live patching and fault repair, non-blocking wire speed low latency performance in a cost effective manner.


Q. How do you see the networks changing over the next five years? What do you think will be the technology trends in networking?

A. Networking is moving from basic connectivity to real time application access. Data centre devices are growing exponentially with growth of virtual machines, multicore processors and petabytes of storage.  A key trend in networking is to adapt to latency of applications and device explosion. Today's new applications and traffic patterns are dynamic and demand new switching approaches for real-time application access. The future of cloud networking optimizes the following variables: guaranteed performance, low latency and any-to-any communication patterns. Arista's switching architectures and expanded 7000 Family are designed to deliver the optimized cloud networking solution.